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My Blues Jr


(@primeta)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 836
Topic starter  

It just sounds bad, almost harsh no matter what setting or guitar I use. I can't tell if this is because what I want in an amp has changed or could it be just the tubes? I was listening to a bunch of other amps in the store, listening for a more Dire Straits sound, but that shouldn't make me dislike the Blues jr so much. Any suggestions?

I did tap gently on the tubes and the first pre-amp is sending a thump through the speaker, the rest are quiet. If that means anything :?

"Things may get a whole lot worse/ Before suddenly falling apart"
Steely Dan
"Look at me coyote, don't let a little road dust put you off" Knopfler


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 vink
(@vink)
Honorable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 722
 

FWIW, I read a few comments on the Carvin forum which seemed to indicate that the Blues Jr breaks up too early/too soon..

(I guess you don't have any recordings from before to go by, to see if the amp itself has changed, or only you...)

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


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(@forrok_star)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2340
 

Could be a few things. How are you driving the amp. The ones I've played one they needed to be turn up to great that bluesy overdrive from them. It may very well be Bias to cold. If it sounds muffed or just isn't putting out what it should be could very well be a preamp tube. 12ax7's are fairly inexpensive and easy to change. You don't need to do anything special when changing them. Those EL-84's should put out some great harmonic overtones when their driven at the saturation point.

Could even be a power supply problem, a resistor or cap may have drifted far enough changing the power supply voltage enough to cause this. A few other thoughts would be operating voltages at the tubes. It could also be oscillating ultrasonically which would cause it to sound really ugly and harsh.

Perhaps take to a shop and have them test it. If its still under warranty take it back.

Joe


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(@primeta)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 836
Topic starter  

Hmm, okay, I'll try replacing the preamp tubes and take it from there.

"Things may get a whole lot worse/ Before suddenly falling apart"
Steely Dan
"Look at me coyote, don't let a little road dust put you off" Knopfler


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

I went to Harmony Central and read quite a few reviews on this amp. Many did say this amp has a tendency to sound harsh at low volumes, or until the amp warms up well. Several substituted speakers and were happy with the results.

http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Guitar+Amp/product/Fender/Blues+Junior/10/1

If you cannot play this amp at the volumes that warms it up, perhaps try an EQ pedal. You should be able to take some of the highs out that are causing the harshness. You could also try some of the tone settings in the reviews, a few cut the highs and boosted the mids and bass.

One fellow said his amp sounded great except with one cheap guitar he owned. So this could be affecting the tone as well.

And it is possible a tube is going. I would order a set of pre-amp tubes. Just keep the old ones as emergency spares.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@primeta)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 836
Topic starter  

Well having tried several different guitars and every volume setting I could imagine, I've ordered a set from Eurotubes. Are his instructions on how to change them about right? I've actually had this amp for a couple of years, so I suppose it's possible it's due for a change.

"Things may get a whole lot worse/ Before suddenly falling apart"
Steely Dan
"Look at me coyote, don't let a little road dust put you off" Knopfler


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

Yes, while there are some things I'd disagree with Bob on, his instructions for changing the tubes will be right on.

(Basically, it's just pull the old ones out, carefully push the new ones in, properly aligned.)

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@primeta)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 836
Topic starter  

Ahhhh. I just replaced the tubes, and my little Blues jr is back to it's normal self. Playing through it is now fun again :)

I still 'need' another amp, probably of a vox or vintage fender type sound, but that's a matter of looking for a different voicing.

Thanks everyone!

Would it be a good thinhg to have someone check it over for bias etc as I've had it a couple of years?

"Things may get a whole lot worse/ Before suddenly falling apart"
Steely Dan
"Look at me coyote, don't let a little road dust put you off" Knopfler


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(@the-dali)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1507
 

Is it me? It seems like tube amps are a pain in the butt... you have to wait for them to warm up... the tubes need replacing, god forbid you drop it and you have to get it re-calibrated...

Is the sound that different than just getting analog/tube pedals and running them into a solid-state amp?

It just seems like a lot of work to me...

-=- Steve

"If the moon were made of ribs, would you eat it?"


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(@flashback)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 266
 

The price you pay to play I guess.

I have played some honest to goodness GREAT solid state amps. And one of them was a Randall Full Stack. The other was Roland JC120 Jazz Chorus.

But I can name hundreds of GREAT GREAT sounding tube amps I have played. I guess for me the dynamics a tube amp creates is what sets them apart from solid state.

Anyway back on subject. Primeta glad you got your old Jr. back in shape!

GN's resident learning sponge, show me a little and I will soak it up.


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